The Center for Disease Control has named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century because of the reduction of cavities in the United States since community fluoridation became common in the 1960’s. But fluoride is still controversial, and it’s not an ideal solution for everyone. Have you ever wondered why?
One of the biggest issues with putting fluoride in drinking water, by adding it to the public’s water, is that the amount is not tailored to a specific person’s intake, size, or weight. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the optimal level of fluoride in community water systems is 0.7 parts per million, and they warn that any less might not prevent tooth decay. However, this number is focusing on the population as a whole, and it fails to recognize the people who, for various reasons, need less (see Health Issues & At Risk Populations below).
Also, because this is a simple ratio, the amount of fluoride a person consumes directly correlates to how much of this community water the person is drinking. For example, an athlete, who drinks a large amount of water during their training, consumes a much larger amount of fluoride than someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle and drinks less. In this way, we see that the dosage is highly affected by lifestyle.
Health Issues & At Risk Populations
When the U.S. Public Health Service was working to update the recommended fluoride level for public water in 2011, they received almost 20,000 letters during the public comment period. Why so many letters? Because people were concerned about the health effects of fluoride.
“Nearly all of these submissions listed possible adverse health effects as concerns, specifically, severe dental fluorosis, bone fractures, skeletal fluorosis, carcinogenicity, lowered IQ and other neurological effects, and endocrine disruption.“
Let’s take a look at why these issues are concerning.
Fluoride and Children
Children are at risk for consuming too much fluoride during this critical stage where their bodies are developing. After all, children drink much more water for their weight than adults.
Beyond consuming large amounts of fluoridated water, they are also more likely to use too much and sometimes swallow fluoridated toothpaste. Children younger than six haven’t fully developed their swallowing reflex and may swallow more than they spit out. This combination can lead to consuming too much fluoride and the development of dental fluorosis.
According to the American Dental Association, “Dental fluorosis is the appearance of faint white lines or streaks on the teeth that only occurs when younger children consume too much fluoride, from any source, over long periods when teeth are developing under the gums.”
They continue: “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires public water systems to notify its customers if the natural occurring fluoride level exceeds 2.0 mg/L or parts per million. People living in areas where naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water exceed 2 parts per million should consider an alternative water source or home water treatments to reduce the risk of fluorosis for young children.”
If you have children, are nursing or pregnant, please be vigilant about fluoride. If children are exposed to high levels of fluoride, some studies suggest they are also at risk for lowered IQ and other developmental effects.
When researching this, the National Research Council questioned the available studies, but also stated that findings warranted additional research on the effects of fluoride on intelligence. They included this recommendation for more research in their report to the EPA.
Fluoride, Bone Health, and the Endocrine System
In “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” one of the critiques of the EPA’s fluoride standards is that there have been limited studies on how fluoride affects the rest of the body – beyond teeth.
In much the same way that fluoride can cause dental fluorosis in children, it can also cause skeletal fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis is a chronic metabolic bone and joint disease, and it can be very painful with a combination of osteosclerosis, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
Fluoride damage to bones can be somewhat alleviated by increasing consumption of nutrients like iodine, selenium, and especially calcium. But if you aren’t getting enough of these, the dangers are very real.
“Once fluorosis occurs, it is irreversible without any cure.”
Also, because fluoride is a cumulative toxin, it can also cause issues with the endocrine system. For example, one study in 2018 found that “fluoride has impacts on TSH, T3 hormones even in the standard concentration of less than 0.5 mg/L.” They emphasized the importance of water purification for people dealing with or hoping to prevent hypothyroidism.
All of this shows us that fluoride affects much, much more than just our teeth. The National Research Council has recommended that EPA consider additional long-term effects on bones in adults, and said that they need to look at more research on the effects of fluoride on the endocrine system.
Fluoride and Aging
The late Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, author of the book “Fluoride: The Aging Factor,” strongly believed that ingested fluoride speeds up the aging process. He wrote that fluoride disrupts the formation of and induces a breakdown of collagen – which leads to things like premature wrinkling.
Combine this with the skeletal issues – like osteoporosis and skeletal fluorosis – referenced above, and it’s easy for those who are exposed to fluoride to appear much older than they are.
Learn more about how fluoride affects aging in Dr. John Yiamouyiannis’ book.
The Balancing Act
So with all of these concerns, and with the National Research Council acknowledging that more studies should be conducted, why did they move ahead with the community water fluoridation recommendations in 2011?
Because they believe reducing cavities is most important.
In their report, they specifically stated that “After a thorough review of the comments opposing the recommendation, the panel did not identify compelling new information to alter its assessment that the recommended fluoride concentration (0.7 mg/L) provides the best balance of benefit to potential harm.” (Emphasis added)
Government officials, unfortunately, have to pull a balancing act. What’s the most they can do for the least amount of money? And then, looking at the results, they often find it’s not ideal… but it’s what they can do at the time with what they have.
Why and How AquaNui Removes Fluoride from Drinking Water
You deserve only the best.
At Pure & Secure, we believe that everyone deserves to know what is in their water. That’s why our AquaNui systems create a blank slate for you – safe, clean, and 99.9+% pure water.
We believe you should be in control of your water, adding only what your body needs and what your family needs.
The distillation process is very effective. By boiling the water, we use the power of a phase change to leave contaminants behind in the boiling chamber while collecting pure water vapor. Additionally, prior to entering the distiller, the water goes through a carbon pre-filter to ensure maximum purity. Read more about distilled water here.
The result? Drinking water that is 99.9+% pure. We’ve tested it time and again, and the results are always clear. Our systems remove 99.9+% of fluoride from your tap water.
Are you ready to be in control of your drinking water and your health?
(If you do want fluoride in your water, please talk to your dentist to find the right dosage for you. The American Dental Association has recommendations here as well.)